book review-the saddest girl in the world by cathy glass

just finished another amazing book by UK author and foster carer cathy glass.
the saddest girl in the world tells donnas story. donna was 10 when she came into care. her and her two younger brothers were brought into care and at first were kept together but there were initial problems, with donna trying to control the boys and an incident at their carers mary and rays which left mary with a bruise prompted the carers to have donna removed. so she came to live with cathy. the book starts out with donna being moved to cathys and cathy noticing how dejected and sad she looked. cathy felt she had never seen a child look so sad. it seemed like donna had the weight of the world on her shoulders. her social worker edna was very dedicated, and had worked with donnas family for 3 years. donna had learning difficulties and was bhind at school. her biological mother was a drug addict and alcoholic. her father was a paranoid pschizophrenic. it was her mother who abused her. she would beat donna and get her younger brothers to beat her as well. the beatings would take place when donna didnt clean the house to her mothers standards. when she first came to cathy she displayed some OCD like tendencies. cathy woke one morning to find her scrubbing the kitchen floor, and she would also wash her hands over and over. cathy tried to allow her to help more around the house. she asked cathy if she could help look after her children paula and adrien and cathy agreed. however little did she know that this would have far reaching effects. donna tried to dominate cathys children, culminating in an incident of lashing out at paula who was six at the time for not obeying her. another time cathy came into the bathroom to find donna scrubbing her hands with a nail brush. she later found out donna was trying to wash off her skin color, she was dual heritage but she wanted to be white. donna had contact with her mother and sister chelsea 3 times a week. chelsea was 14 but she wasnt in care because she refused to be moved. her and rita their mother were thick as thieves. both of them were equally mean to donna and said hurtful things. cathy thought donna was like a firework waitint to go off and she wasnt wrong. donna would lash out after contact and trash her bedroom. eventually as the months went on donna settled down and began to realise some things about her family. she desperately wanted her mother to love her and she kept trying to seek her approval. one day she had an insight and she said to cathy that her mother didnt love her, would never love her, probably hated her. it was after this insight that things really started to turn around for donna. donna lived with cathy for 14 months, eventually the final court case was heard, it was felt that the children should not be returned to ritas care. so donna was found a permanent forever family, the decision was made to find her a dual heritage family so that they could help with her self image. cathy was more than a little upset because secretly she was hoping to keep donna and have her become a permanent member of her family. the matching process was started and eventually a woman named marlene was found and the introductions began. after two weeksdonna moved permanently to live with her. she has kept in touch with cathy though over the years. she also started long term therapy and has gotten over a lot of her past. contact with her bio mom was reduced to 3 times a year but when donna was 14 she asked that it be stopped. donna is an adult now and is qualified as a nurse. i just read the update on cathys website and it said she recently gave birth to a baby girl and got married. it just goes to show that just because you have a horrible start in life, it doesnt have to end up haunting you forever. i highly recommend this book to any survivor of abuse, also those who enjoy an uplifting story with a positive happy ending.

Discussing the hard stuff with dr. barry

I saw dr. barry today and we had a long chat. we mostly talked about therapy and my avoidance of therapy lately. she said she felt that there was definitely something going on, because, in the 3 years she’s known me i’ve never missed so much therapy as i have in the past 6 weeks. and she’s right. she said that she felt that the fact that we were making real progress in therapy is probably scaring a lot of us in the system. i think that theory is correct. lately in therapy we’ve been working on dealing with intense emotions. we’ve also been working with sitting with negative emotions. and its been super hard to do that. lots of times parts have wanted to run away, get up and run out the door on eileen. she encouraged me to talk to eileen about the avoidance. i said i’d try. eileen probably is aware of it anyway and she’s probably just waiting for me to say something. sometimes she does that, waits for me to bring up the discussion first. dr. barry kept telling me to give myself credit because i was doing all the right things in order to cope with my distress. i told her about the tough weekend i’d had and the sleeping all day on monday and the depression and suicidal urges. she said while i have distressing thoughts and feelings, that it is good i havent acted on them. only a couple of months ago i’d have acted on them, i’d have been impulsive and not given much thought to what i was about to do. i havent done any of the old behaviours in months now. i havent overdosed or self harmed in a really long time. she brought up again about dbt, and said maybe we’d look at me possibly doing the managing emotions group. she only mentioned it in passing though, we didnt discuss it at any length. she asked me about my coping strategies and i told her the things i’d done over the weekend to help me get through like reaching out to my blog friends, face timing my friend sarah, reading, sleeping, listening to music and watching tv. i told her how i’d done some things with family over the weekend, going to the food market and also going christmas shopping. i said how i looked so normal, and was able to function normally despite everything that was going on. she said i sounded totally bewildered by this and to be honest i am. i just dont get it how i am able to act so happy, so normal, and underneath all that my whole world is falling apart. i suppose that is my dissociation and did at play, allowing me to go on as normal in an unnaturally abnormal situation. i suppose i should be thankful for my did. someone inside is always able to pull it together when i cant. so thanks to whoever that was that did that. i really appreciate it. i told dr. barry about this month being hard because it was the month when my abuse was disclosed when i was a teenager. i always find december and the run up to christmas difficult due to having so many memories of disclosing. she was very understanding when i told her. she has put the weekend team in place this weekend again for extra support. i told her i’d had a good and positive experience with them last weekend, i told her how good una had been and how she had really got it and understood about my anxiety etc. she said una had worked in the prison as a mental health nurse in the past, and she was really good and understanding about mental health issues. she said she’d put on the referral for the weekend team to call me and if they need to they can come visit me. probably though a phone call will do. i’ll be at my parents this weekend as i normally am so i wont be alone. dr. barry is going to see me again on monday. i also see eileen on monday before i see dr. barry. i see them back to back which is going to be exhausting.

thoughts

i’ve been up all night because of sleeping all day. man i have to do something about my sleep patterns and the routine for bedtime. i keep saying i will but i really have to seriously do something about it. this depression makes it hard though. hard to think, hard to concentrate, hard to do anything. i have no motivation. i think it just ran away on me. i face timed with my friend sarah during the night. we talked for over 2 hours. she lives in colorado. i am planning on visiting her next year if i can save up enough money. she has did like i do. and she is also blind. we’ve become so close, i love her directness and she’s not afraid to say things to me which i really admire and like about her. so next year i hope i can visit her around september or october before the weather gets too bad. i dont want the weather to be icey or snowy because that would suck. one time i flew to o’hare to visit my partner and i got stuck overnight in the airport because it snowed hard. it was a nightmare. then when i finally got on the plane my luggage never made it on to the plane with me so when i got to my destination it wasnt there and i had to wait a couple days for american airlines to bring it to me. so i dont want a repeat of that situation. it will be cool to visit collorado though. and being with someone else who gets it, who has did will be cool too. i’m sure we’ll have loads of fun times and do lots of fun things. thinking about that is making me really happy and having something to look forward to is good. now i just need to figure out the depression and get my mojo back and then i’ll be set.

Tuesday plans

My PA is coming today at 9 AM. I plan on doing some house work while she is here. After she leaves I plan on going to the basement club. I have some toys that I need to bring down there because we are doing a toy appeal for the children at the local leukaemia ward in the local hospital. I also have some things to bring in for the Christmas party that were having in the centre on 21 December. I’m looking forward to going to the basement club spending some time with the members chatting and hanging out after spending all day today sleeping, I’m planning on making tomorrow a good day. No matter what I have to do, I’m planning on trying to be upbeat and positive. I only have to wait on till Wednesday morning to see Dr Barry. Then I’m hoping that she can help me figure things out. I’m feeling a little bit anxious at the moment but I am drinking a cup of tea and about to FaceTime my friend to help me distract.

sleeping the day away

well, after writing the last post, I just went to bed. I read for a while and then went to sleep. I decided sleep might make me feel better. Thing is, I slept all day. I was so depressed. I couldnt face anything or anyone. I didnt even go to therapy. I phoned Eileen and told her I wouldnt be coming in. She understood and rescheduled me for next week. Depression sucks so much. I need to seriously talk to dr. barry about this depression and see what might be the underlying cause of it. One of my readers commented how it happens to me so quickly, and she’s right. I could be having a great day and then bang, it just turns into a bad one. Its disconcerting to say the least. I hope dr. barry has some ideas for me of what may be causing it. i only got up today to eat and thats all. sad that i spent the day in bed but sometimes you have to do what you have to do to survive.